I Gave My Son the Sex Talk, but is it Dad's Job?Lori Garcia
Boy Wonder or “BW” (his abbreviated nickname) is 10 years old and I’ve been asking my husband to give him the sex talk for at least a year. Nothing fancy. Nothing super-detailed, just a casual convo about how babies are made. Because you guys, he didn’t know. Whether or not baby-making is need-to-know information at 10 years old, I just thought his friends probably knew, and therefore, he should probably know too.
Sex isn’t gross. Sex isn’t wrong. Sex is a natural, healthy part of life. A part of life we’ve absolutely shielded him from, but a healthy part of life nevertheless.
Quite simply, I just wanted my husband (or I) to control the sexual information he received.
So there we were, finishing up his science homework on infectious diseases (bleh) and we started talking. “Mom,” Boy Wonder says, “There are so many diseases. It freaks me out. Cancer, polio, heart disease, kidney disease…”
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” I said. And before I could catch the loaded three little letters on the tip of my tongue, they jumped out, “STDs.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
Sigh. Why did you have to say that, Lori?! He’s 10! Just because the word “disease” happens to be the ‘D’ in “STD”, doesn’t mean you should have mentioned it! Good luck, girlfriend. There’s no going back now.
*Ahem* “Sexually Transmitted Disease,” I muttered.
“What’s that?!” he so obviously asked.
“Well…to first understand sexually transmitted diseases, you need to know what sex is. Do you?” He squirmed. “Um, no” he quietly replied.
“OK then, let me tell you. Sex is how babies are made…” And I told him. I told him how babies were made in the most matter of fact/non-squirmy way I could muster. The conversation was brief and devoid of all human emotion. A total first for me.
He processed the information, looked me in the eye (OMG, not eye contact!) and said, “OK.”
I can handle OK.
I saw an opportunity and I took it. Like a badass mother! I didn’t wait for my husband (who, really people, wasn’t ever going to tell him). I didn’t make it a big after-school special thing; I just told him. And just like that it was done. Done and dusted.
While I was quick to pat myself on the back and even quicker to rub it in my husband’s face, when I told my friends what an awesome job I’d done, the moms of boys were quick to respond with, “Oh my God! I would never! That’s my husband’s job!”
So tell me, should boys get the sex talk from their dads?
(Oh, and if you liked that story, you really ought to check out “I Told My Son About Periods in a Target Bathroom”.)
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